iMac/OSX newbie needs help with Micrsoft/SSD possibilies

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by goodhope, May 22, 2016.

  1. goodhope macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2016
    Hi guys, I've bought an entry level iMac with 1TB (no Fusion), 8GB RAM and 1.6 i5 Dualcore.
    I'm an IT guy but have only used Windows operating system (apart from Ipad and Iphone).
    I dont't know why I bought it, I guess because it was a good offer :) and I like my ipad and iphone.
    So instead of having 2 mobile devices (ipad and Windows laptop), I replaced the Windows Laptop with an iMac and as a newbie I have some questions caused by this change.

    I'd like to use a SSD HD and read a lot on the internet. I don't want to open the iMac, so an external ssd (usb 3 or TB) will be the way to go.
    Also, I have 1 or 2 Windows applications that are not available for osx (one is a trading software), therefore I still need Windows somehow.
    I read about a lot of options but don't know which is the best in my case.

    1. Using the external ssd as osx boot and app device, that also holds a Windows VM (Dropbox, Fusion, Parallels....)

    2. Using bootcamp on the ssd for osx and windows and the internal 1TB HD for music, backups or whatever.

    3. Using the ssd as external Fusion drive AND as Bootcamp with partitions for osx and windows.

    4. Using the ssd as described in 1 but use/try Crossover instead of a VM.

    Please let me know your suggestions.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    See this thread regarding the installation of Windows on an external drive.

    As for #4, Crossover can be a nice solution as you're not running windows, but many apps don't run well in Crossover, so its not a viable solution imo.

    The easiset solution is to use windows via virtualization software, Parallels and Vmware offer a 30 day trial, and VirtualBox is free, so you can them to see which ones suits your needs.

    You're going to see better performance if you use a Thunderbolt external drive with an SSD hooked up to it, so you'll be better off putting OS X on the external drive as well.

    You're best bet is to try different variations and see what works for you

    [MOD NOTE]
    Since the gist of this thread is about windows, I moved it to the windows forum.
  3. goodhope thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2016
    Hi Mayflynn,

    thanks a lot for your reply. As the mentioned trading software is somehow related to my money :), I won't use Crossover if it is not working good, so I will go for a VM if this is better than Bootcamp.

    Can you reccomend any USB and/or Thunderbolt enclosures?

  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Better is subjective.

    Bootcamp, you're running windows natively, which means you have direct access to the hardware, and performance is of primary concern. VM excels at solutions where you don't want to leave the confines of OS X.

    As for enclosures, check out the threads in the Mac Accessories forum. There's a bunch there, just search out on some keywords.
  5. Fancuku macrumors 65816


    Oct 8, 2015
    PA, USA
    Just for one or two applications then Windows in a VM makes the most sense and to keep the cost low, use VirtualBox since it is free and works pretty well. Just remember that you still need a valid Windows license key even if you decide to run it in a VM.
  6. Truefan31 macrumors 68040


    Aug 25, 2012
    i have both bootcamp and osx on external ssds through thunderbolt. Even though it's more expensive i prefer the native thunderbolt connection as it support TRIM as well as it leaves my usb 3 ports open.

    I've tried a few tb enclosures, from the seagate portable tb enclosure (bus-powered), the Delock thunderbolt enclosure, which worked well. Now I use the Highpoint Rocketstor 5212 dual bay. I have both my ssds on there, love that it's hot-swappable, and i can easily pop one out and put in either a 2.5 or 3.5 for other things like backups/transfers. Got it from B & H photo:

    Mind you this is for thunderbolt 1. The drives are bare so they get passively cooled. Been working great. Getting speeds around & above 400 mb.

    The delock enclosure is nice too if you just want a single bay. I'm about to return mine since I don't need it, but it workded well.

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5 May 22, 2016